In Sweden, an Outpouring of Anti-Semitism—for Which Officials Blame Israel

Following the American recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, there have been anti-Semitic demonstrations in many European countries. Particularly severe is the situation in Sweden: crowds walk through the streets threatening violence against “the Jews,” and both a synagogue and a Jewish funeral home have been firebombed. Bruce Bawer examines the reactions:

Svante Weyler, head of the Swedish Committee against Anti-Semitism, told the daily Aftonbladet that . . . anti-Semitism is, indeed, quite severe and on the rise in Europe—especially in Sweden—but, unless Aftonbladet cut something out, he was careful not to mention Islam. (That is par for the course.) . . .

Weyler [also] pointed out that “those young people who were gathered together in the synagogue [at the time of the attack] have no direct connection to what is happening in the Middle East or to what Trump does.” Rarely does a European Jewish leader—or anyone, for that matter—simply stand up and defend Israel.

It is not just European Jewish leaders who, in such cases, feel driven to draw a sharp distinction between European Jews and the Jewish state. In an interview with [another Swedish paper], a member of the city council in Gothenburg, [where the attack on the synagogue took place], lamented the fact that “Jews in Sweden are held responsible for what Israel thinks is right or wrong.” Such remarks, of course, imply, [first of all], that Swedish Jews, being Swedes, are surely too sensible and humane to agree in any large numbers with Israeli (or pro-Israeli) policies or actions, and [second], that Israel, by virtue of its supposedly provocative behavior, is at least indirectly responsible for anti-Jewish attacks in Europe. . . .

The attack on the Gothenburg synagogue may have been immediately triggered by Trump’s recognition of Israel’s capital, but it is part of a pattern of persecution and savagery that has [long] been in place, and that has been systematically ignored, denied, or played down by the news media and public officials.

Read more at Gatestone

More about: Anti-Semitism, European Jewry, Israel & Zionism, Sweden

How to Turn Palestinian Public Opinion Away from Terror

The Palestinian human-rights activist Bassem Eid, responding to the latest survey results of the Palestinian public, writes:

Not coincidentally, support for Hamas is much higher in the West Bank—misgoverned by Hamas’s archrivals, the secular nationalist Fatah, which rules the Palestinian Authority (PA)—than in Gaza, whose population is being actively brutalized by Hamas. Popular support for violence persists despite the devastating impact that following radical leaders and ideologies has historically had on the Palestinian people, as poignantly summed up by Israel’s Abba Eban when he quipped that Arabs, including the Palestinians, “never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.”

Just as worrying is the role of propaganda and misinformation, which are not unique to the Palestinian context but are pernicious there due to the high stakes involved. Misinformation campaigns, often fueled by Hamas and its allies, have painted violent terrorism as the only path to dignity and rights for Palestinians. Palestinian schoolbooks and public media are rife with anti-Semitic and jihadist content. Hamas’s allies in the West have matched Hamas’s genocidal rhetoric with an equally exterminationist call for the de-normalization and destruction of Israel.

It’s crucial to consider successful examples of de-radicalization from other regional contexts. After September 11, 2001, Saudi Arabia implemented a comprehensive de-radicalization program aimed at rehabilitating extremists through education, psychological intervention, and social reintegration. This program has had successes and offers valuable lessons that could be adapted to the Palestinian context.

Rather than pressure Israel to make concessions, Eid argues, the international community should be pressuring Palestinian leaders—including Fatah—to remove incitement from curricula and stop providing financial rewards to terrorists.

Read more at Newsweek

More about: Gaza War 2023, Hamas, Palestinian public opinion